Aitkin County Historical Society

Aitkin County Historical Society ACHS is a 501(c)(3) county organization entrusted with the documentation, preservation and dissemination of information related to history of Aitkin County
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#MNMuseumAlphabet L is for Lantern. Like our awesome collection of steamboat and train ๐Ÿš‚ lanterns housed at the Depot. H...
03/30/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet L is for Lantern. Like our awesome collection of steamboat and train ๐Ÿš‚ lanterns housed at the Depot. Here are a few hanging out on our Irene replica.

K must be for KKIN. Did you know it wasn't always in a barn-shaped building? ๐ŸŽ™๐ŸŽง The woman in the first image is identifi...
03/29/2020

K must be for KKIN. Did you know it wasn't always in a barn-shaped building? ๐ŸŽ™๐ŸŽง The woman in the first image is identified as Kaye Frye. Man unidentified. #MNMuseumAlphabet

#MNMuseumAlphabet J is for Jack Sprat. In this case, the Jack Sprat Store and not the nursery rhyme. ๐Ÿ›’Individuals uniden...
03/28/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet J is for Jack Sprat. In this case, the Jack Sprat Store and not the nursery rhyme. ๐Ÿ›’Individuals unidentified.

#MNMuseumAlphabet J is for jabot, an ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lac...
03/28/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet J is for jabot, an ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lace. The navy blue one is in the ACHS collection, the other image shows a jabot as worn.

#MNMuseumAlphabet I is for Irene. The sternwheeler Irene (1898 - 1909) had three incarnations over ten years. The first ...
03/27/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet I is for Irene. The sternwheeler Irene (1898 - 1909) had three incarnations over ten years. The first Irene was built in 1898 by Viebahn and Tulley. Unfortunately it burned soon after it was built. The second Irene (1900 - 1901) was built in 1900 by Charles Viebahn and William Ponteney. It met the same fate, burning at her dock in August of 1901. Her Captain was severely burned in the fire. The third Irene (1902 - 1909) was rebuilt by Charles Viebahn and William Ponteney. Named for Irene Hodgedon, the boat was owned by the Mississippi Transportation Company. Photographs of this boat show she was equipped with two enormous searchlights similar to those used on railroad locomotives. Interestingly, few boats ran at night in order to avoid snags or other hidden perils lurking just beneath the dark river water. In 1906 the Irene carried 5,500 passengers and 6,000 tons of freight. Sank at Verdon's landing in 1908, raised and sank a second time in 1909. She was dismantled and rebuilt as a smaller boat called the Lee.

I is for Ingaborg. Ingaborg Markison was an early Aitkin immigrant, arriving in 1885, as seen on the address on the trun...
03/27/2020

I is for Ingaborg. Ingaborg Markison was an early Aitkin immigrant, arriving in 1885, as seen on the address on the trunk below. In late 2017, descendant David Leighton of Colorado shipped his grandmother's trunk to us. It is now on display in the old Depot office or telegraph room.
#MNMuseumAlphabet
Below, see an image of the uncrating of the trunk upon arrival at the Depot.

H is for hot air balloon. ๐ŸŽˆ If only the location this was taken was identified. Perhaps someone out there has other pict...
03/26/2020

H is for hot air balloon. ๐ŸŽˆ If only the location this was taken was identified. Perhaps someone out there has other pictures of this event, with the town identified? ๐Ÿค” #MNMuseumAlphabet

H is for Having Fun. This is one of the unidentified photos in our collection. The title is "A Social Time", but perhaps...
03/26/2020

H is for Having Fun. This is one of the unidentified photos in our collection. The title is "A Social Time", but perhaps "Having a Swell Time" or "Party Time" would be better? #MNMuseumAlphabet

G is for General Merchandise. Of the type you could find at stores like Gambles of McGregor and Gravelle's of Haypoint (...
03/25/2020

G is for General Merchandise. Of the type you could find at stores like Gambles of McGregor and Gravelle's of Haypoint (near Swatara). Anyone ever shop in these stores before they closed their doors? Or have any business premiums highlighting the store logo and store details they might donate to the museum? #MNMuseumAlphabet #SmallTownBusiness

G is for Gibson. As in the Andy Gibson, steamboat on the Mississippi. Beginning service in 1884, this ship could carry 1...
03/25/2020

G is for Gibson. As in the Andy Gibson, steamboat on the Mississippi. Beginning service in 1884, this ship could carry 100 tons of freight and 150 passengers. Decommission in 1892, she was docked near Potter's Landing outside Aitkin. Slowly rotting away, many pieces of the boat and bits of wood were salvaged for other purposes. The remains were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The ship is noted for being: "Rare and well-preserved remains of a Mississippi River steamboat, launched in 1884 to serve the headwaters region. Unique among U.S. shipwrecks for still resting on its drydock cradle." #MNMuseumAlphabet #MNShipwrecks #SteamboatsOnTheMississippi

#MNMuseumAlphabet F is for Ferry, an early way to cross rivers. Seen here is Weltons Ferry, west of Aitkin, about halfwa...
03/24/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet F is for Ferry, an early way to cross rivers. Seen here is Weltons Ferry, west of Aitkin, about halfway between Aitkin and Crow Wing county border. Not always safe though- many early newspaper accounts of ferry operator drownings.

#MNMuseumAlphabet F is for Flood. Seen here is the early bridge over the river, just north of Aitkin, flooded in both 19...
03/24/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet F is for Flood. Seen here is the early bridge over the river, just north of Aitkin, flooded in both 1904 and 1916. If anyone has pictures of more recent floods- 1980s through present, we would love copies for our collections.

#MNMuseumAlphabet  E is for Engine. Like this beautiful handmade engine on display in the old Depot office.
03/23/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet E is for Engine. Like this beautiful handmade engine on display in the old Depot office.

#MNMuseumAlphabet E is for Esquagamah, last in a series of three lakes, means "the last lake" in the Chippewa language. ...
03/23/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet E is for Esquagamah, last in a series of three lakes, means "the last lake" in the Chippewa language. This former community and current lake straddles the border between Esquagamah and Waukenabo Townships and and borders County road 29.

#MNMuseumAlphabet D is for Dexigraph? A what? A dexigraph is an early version of a copy or duplicating machine. Who knew...
03/22/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet D is for Dexigraph? A what? A dexigraph is an early version of a copy or duplicating machine. Who knew?

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Clean-up day. In an old Aitkin Age article, April 2, 1910, a clean-up day was proposed to rid...
03/21/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Clean-up day. In an old Aitkin Age article, April 2, 1910, a clean-up day was proposed to rid the city of trash, and thus disease.

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Colton's Common School Geography, published 1879. This copy was used by a few generations of ...
03/21/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Colton's Common School Geography, published 1879. This copy was used by a few generations of the same family, including George Erickson and his mom. What if kids today used the same textbooks as their parents and grandparents? Hmmmm. . .interesting idea.

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Champion, our beloved mechanical horse. Did you know he still runs? Anyone remember riding hi...
03/21/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet C is for Champion, our beloved mechanical horse. Did you know he still runs? Anyone remember riding him outside the Ben Franklin store?

๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜†#InternationalDayofHappiness is today, March 20. What are you happy about and thankful for during these trying times?
03/20/2020

๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜†#InternationalDayofHappiness is today, March 20. What are you happy about and thankful for during these trying times?

#MNMuseumAlphabet  B is for Birds. In this case, our beautiful collection of state birds carved by Audrey Sanford Engels...
03/20/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet B is for Birds. In this case, our beautiful collection of state birds carved by Audrey Sanford Engels who grew up near Palisade. B is also for certain state birds: Brown Pelican of Louisiana, Baltimore Oriole of Maryland, and Blue Hen Chicken of Delaware. Who's gonna be bird watching with spring around the corner?

#MNMuseumAlphabet B is for Barns. If you are going stir crazy and have this book, why not take a drive to tour the barns...
03/20/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet B is for Barns. If you are going stir crazy and have this book, why not take a drive to tour the barns still standing? Please stay on roads and off private property though, and keep practicing #SocialDistancing.

ACHS  is joining with other Minnesota historical societies by participating with #MNMuseumAlphabet! Every day is a diffe...
03/19/2020

ACHS is joining with other Minnesota historical societies by participating with #MNMuseumAlphabet! Every day is a different letter, highlighting our collection, a site, a story, or some other piece of county history.
Don't forget to click on the hashtag to see what other museums around the state are posting as well! An awesome online "fieldtrip" for all those stuck at home. . .

#MNMuseumAlphabet #FromTheCollections    A is for ABC Alphabet book, published by Whitman Publishing Co, Racine Wisconsi...
03/19/2020

#MNMuseumAlphabet #FromTheCollections
A is for ABC Alphabet book, published by Whitman Publishing Co, Racine Wisconsin, in 1939.
Parents and kids, try making your own ABC Alphabet book at home!

With museums closed to the public, online tours and collections highlights are keeping you all involved. Here in MN,   w...
03/19/2020

With museums closed to the public, online tours and collections highlights are keeping you all involved. Here in MN, we are doing the #MNMuseumAlphabet. This 26 day exploration of Aitkin County will take us from A-Z. . . let's start with the Aitkin Age (now the Aitkin Independent Age). Around since 1883, it combined with the Aitkin Independent. The first Aitkin Independent Age was August 3, 1912. Seen below is the early office of the Age.

Don't forget to click on the hashtag to see what other museums around the state are posting as well!

The Depot Museum will be closed to the public until further notice, due to the COVID19 pandemic. Per Governor Walzโ€™s Mar...
03/18/2020
News / Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

The Depot Museum will be closed to the public until further notice, due to the COVID19 pandemic. Per Governor Walzโ€™s March 16 press release (see https://mn.gov/governor/news/#/detail/appId/1/id/423485),

โ€œFollowing the Minnesota Department of Public Healthโ€™s announcement today that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota climbed past 50 with multiple cases of community transmission, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs."

Welcome to the Office of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan Newsroom. Here you will find our latest press releases, statements, and other information. Please visit soundcloud.com/mngov for audio recordings of all press conferences.

Please note cancellation below.
03/12/2020

Please note cancellation below.

The Commerce & Outdoor Show this weekend has been cancelled. It was a last resort decision we did not want to make but felt it was the best choice for our communityโ€™s health at this time.

#AmericanRedCrossMonth It's also National Women's History month. You might note early Red Cross groups were comprised mo...
03/05/2020

#AmericanRedCrossMonth It's also National Women's History month. You might note early Red Cross groups were comprised mostly of women (or all in the case of these local Aitkin County groups) ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฐ๐Ÿ‘ฑโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆณ

#LeapYear #LeapDay From the Aitkin Age, January 24, 1920.
02/29/2020

#LeapYear #LeapDay From the Aitkin Age, January 24, 1920.

#AshWednesday In honor of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, here are a few of our Catholic churches: St. John's of Hi...
02/26/2020

#AshWednesday In honor of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, here are a few of our Catholic churches: St. John's of Hill City and St. James of Aitkin. What are you all giving up for Lent?

02/24/2020
Neither Wolf Nor Dog movie

Steven Lewis Simpson, a British documentary film-maker, notified us of a Native American themed film he has made that will be shown in our area soon. The film "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" is based on a best-selling novel. It will be shown at the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center in Brainerd on March 17 and 18 at 6:30 P.M. both days. Here is a link to the trailer: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=145559766548965

Landmark Native American movie Neither Wolf Nor Dog has two special showings at the Central Lakes Community Center in Brainerd, MN on the 17th & 18th of March, both at 6:30 PM!

See Lakota Elder Dave Bald Eagle, who was 95-years-old during filming, give an incredible, unforgetable performance.

Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/650484022423587

4.7/5 95% score on Rottentomatoes.

Read audience reviews here: www.imdb.com/title/tt3951908/reviews

It was the Top film of 2017 for critic Louis Fowler https://tinyurl.com/y467zjul

The film is in the midst of the longest first-run theatrical release of any movie in the US in over a decade.

THE CAST
Dave Bald Eagle - Into The West, River of Fundament
Christopher Sweeney - The Veil, Chasing Mavericks
Richard Ray Whitman -Barking Water, Drunktown's Finest
Roseanne Supernault - Maina, Blackstone
Tatanka Means - Tiger Eyes, Into The West, Saints, and Strangers
Zahn McClarnon - Fargo TV Series, Mekko, Red Road, Longmire, Westworld

#NationalTileDay #TiffanyCo Did you know all the tilework at the Northern Pacific Depot is not only original to the buil...
02/23/2020

#NationalTileDay #TiffanyCo Did you know all the tilework at the Northern Pacific Depot is not only original to the building- it is also made by Tiffany and Company. How cool?

#OnThisDayMinnesota #WanderingOnWednesdaysThe pink-and-white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae) is named the state flowe...
02/19/2020

#OnThisDayMinnesota #WanderingOnWednesdays
The pink-and-white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae) is named the state flower by the legislature on this day in 1902. This wild orchid has a brilliantly colored bloom and thrives in damp woods, swamps, and bogs; it would be protected by a state law passed in 1925 that forbids picking the flower.

Has anyone seen these in the wild, while wandering Aitkin County's beautiful parks and trails?

#ArchivesHashtagParty #Valentines I mean, who wouldn't want this terribly loving card?
02/14/2020

#ArchivesHashtagParty #Valentines I mean, who wouldn't want this terribly loving card?

#GhostTowns #WanderingOnWednesdays With no pictures of the communities themselves, we will showcase the schools and scho...
02/12/2020

#GhostTowns #WanderingOnWednesdays With no pictures of the communities themselves, we will showcase the schools and schoolkids of Willow River and Hassman. Time to explore. . .

02/12/2020

The Winter 2020 Newsletter is now available. Watch your mailboxes and inboxes if you are a member!

#GhostTowns #FridayFacts Wandering off to Nichols, MN. No pictures, but a tiny collection of postcards (3 to be precise....
02/07/2020

#GhostTowns #FridayFacts Wandering off to Nichols, MN. No pictures, but a tiny collection of postcards (3 to be precise. . .).

An early settler, Austin R. Nichols had his name perpetuated for an area west of Mille Lacs Lake. He is said to have had the first summer resort called "Nichols Place" on Mille Lacs Lake. The Nichols post office began February 19, 1884 and was discontinued December 31, 1926 with the mail going to Bennettville.

#100YearsAgo #OnThisDay So I was curious what the Aitkin Age headline was 100 years ago on February 7. . .some things do...
02/07/2020

#100YearsAgo #OnThisDay So I was curious what the Aitkin Age headline was 100 years ago on February 7. . .some things don't change- outbreaks still happen. ๐Ÿ˜ท

#PlayMonopolyDay This classic American game features the most "editions" you can find of any board game. . .from Cat-opo...
02/06/2020

#PlayMonopolyDay This classic American game features the most "editions" you can find of any board game. . .from Cat-opoloy to National Park-opoly, the sky is the limit.

Did you know an Aitkin County-opoly was made in 2002? We have one left in our gift shop. . .

Explore the world of Monopoly at: https://monopoly.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Monopoly_Editions

#GhostTowns Time for another wander through the county. . .this time the sites of Waldeck and Bennettvile. Scenic, no?
02/06/2020

#GhostTowns Time for another wander through the county. . .this time the sites of Waldeck and Bennettvile. Scenic, no?

02/06/2020

Reminder: The "Raspberry Island Folk School" will be featured on the Lakeland PBS (Channel 22 KAWB) show "Common Ground" tonight, February 6th at 7pm and will repeat over the weekend on their Prime & Plus channels. What is Raspberry Island?

"Gary and Janet Hill started offering summertime classes in blacksmithing and pottery on their island several years ago, mainly taught by Gary himself. Over the years, offerings have come to include workshops taught by well-known and sought-after instructors in the folk arts. Raspberry Island is located on beautiful, historic Big Sandy Lake."

#NationalGirlsAndWomenInSportsDay Did you know these are the only women's sports team photos in the ACHS collections? Bo...
02/05/2020

#NationalGirlsAndWomenInSportsDay Did you know these are the only women's sports team photos in the ACHS collections? Both basketball teams, both Aitkin Highschool. If anyone has images of early teams of other sports, other schools, and community girls' and womens' teams, please consider donating these images to the ACHS. Help us to preserve women's sports history in Aitkin County! ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธโ›น๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒ๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคพโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ

#GhostTowns #FridayFindings #GloryGlory Erick O. Swanson began a small store in the early 1900's, when it out grew his k...
01/31/2020

#GhostTowns #FridayFindings #GloryGlory Erick O. Swanson began a small store in the early 1900's, when it out grew his kitchen. He was asked to petition for a post office. Names were sent to the federal government but turned down. "Glory" was suggested from Glory, Glory Hallelujah. Glory was approved and the post office was established in August of 1900 and continued until April of 1913. The comer has been referred to as Hallelujah.

Address

20 Pacific St SW
Aitkin, MN
56431

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(218) 927-3348

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Comments

Hi I hope someone can help me. Im trying to find info on my Great Grandfather who lived in your country for many years. I put the time between late 1800's to early 1900's by census & territory records. His name was Mons O. (Oliver) Frisk & his wifes name was Helma. They both immigrated from Sweden at different times. If anyone has any info I would appreciate it
Was the McDonald Youth Camp in Aitkin County?
Curious about the history of this building and its original tenant
When I was a kid in the 70's, our family would go to a resort on Stark Lake called Wah Bon A Quot (not sure of spelling)... It was run by a couple of brothers- Bob & Nels Olson, or maybe Nelson... something like that. I'm wondering if there's any information anywhere that I could find on this place... I've been told that one of the brothers died, and the place was sold, probably sometime in the 90's. I'm sure the other brother has since died... there were 7 cabins as I recall, yellow with red trim. Any help would be appreciated.
Okay, all of you history mystery solvers. These cast iron pieces were recovered from the muck in lake near Tamarack, near an outlet excavated about 1917, when dredging was conducted to dry out more land. They are? First thought- part of dredging rig" Something else steam-driven? What are your thoughts. Several hundred lbs of cast iron, about 5 ft long.